Steel Press Fittings for Fire Sprinkler and Stainless Steel Flexible Hose Applications

Aug 18, 2023 | Company News, News

When installing fire sprinkler systems or working with stainless steel flexible hoses, the choice of fitting material is extremely important. Stainless steel press fittings have become a popular option in recent years due to their corrosion resistance, fast assembly, and reliability in demanding applications. This article will explore some key benefits of using steel press fittings for fire sprinkler and stainless steel hose installations.

Steel Press Fitting

Why Steel Press Fittings?

Threaded fittings have long been the standard choice for fire sprinkler and flexible stainless steel hose connections. However, they do have some drawbacks including potential leaks from thread sealant failures over time. Steel press fittings solve many of these issues through a unique pressing technology. Made of corrosion-resistant material like stainless steel, they form a permanent mechanical joint that is leak-proof and cut installation time significantly compared to threading.

Steel press fittings rely on proprietary steel tooling and joints. Oxide inhibitors are used to protect the steel surfaces from corrosion during the pressing operation. When pressed, the fitting and tube are permanently joined together without any threaded connections or need for pipe dope or tape. This creates a monolithic metal-to-metal seal that is leak-proof and extremely durable.

Benefits for Fire Sprinkler Installations

Fire sprinkler systems require extremely reliable pipe connections that will hold up long-term, even in the harshest of environments. Steel press fittings are ideal for these demanding applications for several key reasons:

  • Corrosion resistance: Stainless steel press fittings are highly corrosion resistant, protecting against rust, corrosion, and degradation over the lifetime of the system even in wet environments. This helps ensure piping integrity.
  • Leak-proof joints: The metal-to-metal seals formed during pressing eliminate any risk of future leaks from sealant failures, thread galling, or loosening over time and changing pressures.
  • Fast installation: Press joints go together in seconds versus minutes to assemble threaded connections. This significantly reduces labor costs, shutdown times, and risks of errors during retrofits or repairs.
  • Vibration resistance: The mechanical clinching action of press fittings holds piping very securely, protecting against leaks from vibration stresses that can loosen threaded joints over time.
  • Simple inspection: Press joints can be visually inspected externally for integrity without partially disassembling like threaded joints sometimes require.
  • Suitable for tight spaces: Press fittings have more compact connections than threaded fittings, making them well-suited even for installations in limited access areas.

The reliability and leak-proof performance of steel press fittings make them an ideal choice for fire protection systems installed according to NFPA codes. Their resistance to vibration and corrosion also ensures long-term integrity critical for life safety sprinkler systems.

Benefits for Stainless Steel Flexible Hoses

Corrosion-resistant stainless steel flexible hoses find wide use in hydraulic, pneumatic, medical, food processing, and marine applications. Steel press fittings are a premium choice for connecting these hoses due to their ability to withstand pressure, thermal cycling, and vibration stresses. Some key advantages include:

  • Secure hose termination: Press joints form a very tight, secure connection that withstands shocks and movement of hoses without loosening. This eliminates failures compared to compression fittings.
  • Vibration resistance: As noted, press joints clinch the hose and tube extremely rigidly, helping prevent fatigue failures from long-term vibration that can damage compression fittings.
  • No thread galling: Threading stainless tube or hoses can be difficult due to material hardness. Press fittings avoid this issue and assembly defects entirely.
  • Thermal tolerance: Press joints maintain their integrity across wide temperature ranges without leakage concerns like some compression fittings may experience.
  • Easy to replace: Should a hose ever need replacement, press fittings allow quick disconnection and reinstallation without partially dismantling adjacent piping.
  • Clean assembly: Press joints form a tight, sealed connection without need for Teflon tape or other thread sealants that could flake off into processes over time.
  • Suitable for sanitary applications: The monolithic press fittings maintain full bore capacity and form smooth internal transitions ideal for hygienic food, dairy, and biopharm applications.

Top steel press fitting brands offer matching hose ferrule kits allowing stainless hoses to be securely press terminated. This provides a unified metal-to-metal system ideally suited for demanding vibration and corrosion environments.

Whether used for fire sprinkler piping or stainless steel flexible hose connections, steel press fittings provide significant advantages over threaded alternatives. Their permanent, monolithic joints form extremely reliable, leak-proof seals able to withstand extensive vibration and wide temperature ranges. For applications requiring the highest integrity plumbing solutions, steel press fittings truly are a premium fitting choice. Their fast assembly also drives down installation times and costs on projects. As codes increasingly accept press join technology, specifying press fittings makes excellent long-term sense for new construction and retrofit fire protection and industrial hose applications.